Matthew made a Marble Cake from scratch

marble cake

Cooking and baking from scratch is so much fun but teaching our kids to cook and bake is such a joyful experience. Especially at Christmas time, having the joy to teach our son Matthew to bake a cake, is an experience I will never forget. In this blog, Matthew made a Marble Cake from scratch for our church’s Cake Bake-Off event. This cake turned out so delicious, moist, with just the right amount of vanilla and cocoa flavors.

green frosted marble cake

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Published December 23, 2022
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Cake Bake-Off

December is a time for get-togethers and eating, but it is also a time for celebrating Jesus. Christmas translates to “mass on Christ’s day”, and we love to celebrate this special holiday all month long. No matter what your views are, I do hope you enjoy this recipe for a Marble Cake that is a literal no fail, so moist and unbelievably delicious.

At our church, the youth program puts on a Birthday Party for Jesus where the kids in grades 3-6 bake cakes and decorate them in the hopes to win the cake decorating competition. This Cake Bake-Off has been an annual tradition for many years. Dozens of cakes came in on this day, in so many sizes, shapes, colors and materials. The premise was to have the cakes and the decorations 100% edible.

Another rule was that the adult was to only place the cake in the hot oven and remove the cake from the oven. Other than those two safety measures, the students were encouraged to have 100% control over design, baking, mixing and creating.

figurines of the nativity of jesus
Photo by Susanne Jutzeler, suju-foto on Pexels.com

“Christmas, Christian festival celebrating the birth of Jesus. The English term Christmas (“mass on Christ’s day”) is of fairly recent origin. The earlier term Yule may have derived from the Germanic jōl or the Anglo-Saxon geōl, which referred to the feast of the winter solstice.” Britannica

Matthew baking marble cake

Recipe

Ingredients

1 1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup shortening
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 1/2 cup flour
1 1/2 cup milk
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
2 unbeaten eggs
1 Tablespoon sugar
1/4 tsp baking soda
2 Tbsp cocoa
2 Tbsp hot water

ingredients for marble cake

Directions

1. Firstly, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Secondly, in the bowl of a KitchenAid mixer, measure and add the shortening, then with the paddle attachment, mix well until smooth and softened.

shortening added to mixer bowl

3. To the shortening, add the 1 1/2 cup sugar and then mix well.

4. Measure and then add the baking soda, baking powder, and salt, mixing well to combine.

5. To the bowl, measure and then add the 2 1/2 cups flour, and slowly mix into the shortening.
To save money, flour is bought in bulk. Typically, a 25-pound bag is bought and then stored in this huge container.

Matthew adding flour to marble cake

6. Pour the milk into the bowl and then slowly mix until fully combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a spatula as needed.
Matthew was making sure to get his amounts just right when measuring the milk.

measure milk

7. Measure and add the vanilla extract and mix until just combined.
This fall, I made Homemade Vanilla Extract. Let me tell you, this is the easiest way to save SO much money! If you bake a lot, making your own vanilla extract will help to increase flavors and make the taste of your baked goods pop. Click the link below for my blog with the full recipe.

8. Finally, after all of the ingredients are mixed well, add the eggs one at a time, making sure to mix well into the batter well before adding the second. Scrape the bowl down with a spatula and mix again if necessary.

9. Place a piece of parchment paper on the countertop and use the base of a springform pan to trace the shape of the base with a pencil, then cut out the shape.
Using the parchment paper helps the cake to be easy to remove from the cake pan.

10. Reinsert the springform pan base, and then spray the pan with non-stick baking spray.

replace spring form pan

11. Place the piece of parchment paper into the springform pan and then spray with non-stick spray also.
Using a piece of parchment paper will help the cake to then be easily removed from the pan.
Additionally, using a 9 X 13-inch pan works great instead of a round springform pan.

spray spring form pan with no-stick spray

12. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, except for 1/4 of the batter. Set the reserved batter aside and then spread out the batter in the pan with a spatula.

Matthew adding marble cake batter to prepared pan

13. In a microwave safe bowl, add 2 Tbsp water and heat in the microwave, then add the cocoa and mix well until completely combined and smooth.
By mixing the cocoa with HOT water, the cocoa will then bloom and not be so powdery and dry.

14. To the cocoa, add 1 Tbsp sugar and 1/4 tsp baking soda and then mix well.

15. Pour the cocoa mixture into the reserved batter and then mix well until completely combined, scraping the sides of the bowl down with a spatula if needed.

Matthew mixing cocoa mixture to 1/4 marble cake batter

16. Pour the cocoa mixture over the vanilla cake batter in the prepared pan, then using a spatula, spread out the cocoa batter.

17. Using a knife, make many zigzag passes through the batter to give it a marble effect.

18. Bake the Marble Cake for 30-45 minutes, or until the cake no longer is jiggly in the center and a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
This rounded cake needed to bake for 65 minutes. The middle was quite dense and took a longer time to set.
Typically, a 9 X 13 bake dish will only take 45 minutes to become done.

bake marble cake

19. Remove the cake from the oven when done and then let it rest to completely cool before decorating.

baked marble cake

20. Once completely cool, preferably overnight, frost and decorate your cake.
Once the Marble Cake is cooled, remove the spring form and then flip the cake over to remove the base and then remove the parchment paper.

Place your desired cake pan onto the bottom of the cake and then flip it over so the top is right-side up.

Matthew chose to make the cake green. Using an offset spatula, spread the cake frosting over the entire cake top and sides.
To make less of a mess, place wax paper pieces under the edges of the cake. Then, when done decorating just remove the paper sheets from under the cake.

Matthew also wanted to have a manger scene depicting Jesus’s birth. Using pretzels as the corner posts, he then used lasagna pasta sheets for the roof. With a few dollops of frosting, the roof was then set onto the pretzels.

He also made a manger out of pretzels and wrote “Happy Birthday Jesus” in icing on the cake.
I was SO proud of Matthew in his ability to follow the directions of the cake, and also in his ability to discern how he wanted the cake to look. From the round cake pan, to the green frosting and pretzels, this cake was 100% his idea and design. Hope you enjoy and let me know if you decide to make this Marble Cake yourself! It literally is a no fail cake recipe. With or without the baby Jesus on the top.
~Monica

Happy birthday Jesus Marble Cake

Marble Cake Recipe

Ingredients for Marble Cake

1 1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup shortening
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 1/2 cup flour
1 1/2 cup milk
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
2 unbeaten eggs
1 Tablespoon sugar
1/4 tsp baking soda
2 Tbsp cocoa
2 Tbsp hot water

Directions for Marble Cake

1. Firstly, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Secondly, in the bowl of a KitchenAid mixer, measure and add the shortening, then with the paddle attachment, mix well until smooth and softened.
3. To the shortening, add the 1 1/2 cup sugar and then mix well.
4. Measure and then add the baking soda, baking powder, and salt, mixing well to combine.
5. To the bowl, measure and then add the 2 1/2 cups flour, and slowly mix into the shortening.
6. Pour the milk into the bowl and then slowly mix until fully combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a spatula as needed.
7. Measure and add the vanilla extract and mix until just combined.
8. Finally, after all of the ingredients are mixed well, add the eggs one at a time, making sure to mix well into the batter well before adding the second. Scrape the bowl down with a spatula and mix again if necessary.
9. Place a piece of parchment paper on the countertop and use the base of a spring-form pan to trace the shape of the base with a pencil, then cut out the shape.
10. Reinsert the spring-form pan base, and then spray the pan with non-stick baking spray.
11. Place the piece of parchment paper into the spring-form pan and then spray with non-stick spray also.
12. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, except for 1/4 of the batter. Set the reserved batter aside and then spread out the batter in the pan with a spatula.
13. In a microwave safe bowl, add 2 Tbsp water and heat in the microwave, then add the cocoa and mix well until completely combined and smooth.
14. To the cocoa, add 1 Tbsp sugar and 1/4 tsp baking soda and mix well.
15. Pour the cocoa mixture into the reserved batter and then mix well until completely combined, scraping the sides of the bowl down with a spatula if needed.
16. Pour the cocoa mixture over the vanilla cake batter in the prepared pan, then using a spatula, spread out the cocoa batter.
17. Using a knife, make many zigzag passes through the batter to give it a marble effect.
18. Bake the Marble Cake for 30-45 minutes, or until the cake no longer is jiggly in the center and a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
19. Remove the cake from the oven when done and then let it rest to completely cool before decorating.
20. Once completely cool, preferably overnight, frost and decorate your cake. Then slice and finally enjoy!
~Monica

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Published by Monica's Scratch Kitchen

I have not always had the skills to cook and bake from scratch. As a young wife, I bought every meal frozen or boxed and presented it to my husband with a flourish, believing myself a decadent cook. As our budget shrunk, and our family grew, I looked for ways to stretch our money to nourish our kids with the best for their hungry appetites. Hoping to find recipes and meals that they would love to eat. Through the last 5 years, I have learned so many cooking and baking lessons, and experienced many wins and failures. Come along with me on this journey as I share my recipes that work, how to make them on the cheap, and my tips and tricks to get my kids to eat homemade deliciousness! I will also share updates to our house that we have done in the last year since our move. With one income, we do most of the work ourselves and with amazing family and friends to help out, cutting costs but keeping style and money in the bank! I am a wife and mother of 3 boys and 1 princess. When I was a kid, I remember being asked what I wanted to be or do when I grew up. My response was, "a mom", and I am proud to grow up and be a mom to 4 amazing kids! Samuel is 11, Matthew is 8, Levi is 4, and Elliana is almost 2. We have been blessed to have kids who love to explore foods, to try new recipes, and enjoy helping us around the house. With 4 kids, you better believe they help clean! My husband Tyler and I have been married almost 13 years. We love our kids, we love outdoors, camping, canoeing, grilling, watching movies, and just hanging out making memories. A few years ago I gifted Tyler with his own "menu" book, where we write meals and foods we have loved to eat. Weekly our family decides what our meals will be and I make up a grocery list with what we need. It literally is my favorite chore! I love to shop, so shopping for food on a budget is my biggest win! Thank you for taking the time and visiting my site, Subscribe so you do not miss a post! Keep coming back to hear about new recipes, updates on our home, fun times with our kids, and how to make homemade deliciousness! ~Monica

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